Friday, April 20, 2012

Getting Around

Getting Around
by Kevin Cahill

Getting around (What an atlas needs)
by Kevin Cahill

Afterwards you'll understand
that to open a book like this
is but to dwell in paper-thin spaces;
Before cracking it though,
look around, see how the fences
hang derelict - the terrain here
could make a hermit homesick.

Later, if the ruts in your memory
are grown over, it'll be okay -
you've sown more than anyone can
account for right here and here
and here too - so go ahead,
open it up, be amazed at what volunteers,
even as you keep
turning it over and over.

Don't stop - perservere, and
at length and with some luck
you can dog-ear the spot where it all began,
as sure as you know where the horses graze
on the slopes running down to the river...
close your eyes and read
the map inside your fingertips,
let the watery breeze in the cottowoods
dry your lips and listen...

Only a long time along lonely roads
in empty places
can tempt one's mind into such
trackless spaces.
It's simple atlas needs
a lamp, a footstool, a glass
after long walks,
geography needs picking foxtails
from sweaty socks,

let your dog-tired soles

tell you what is real -
how the ground lies hard
and dearly
how the only lie that matters
(the one you play out of)
is harder to get around
than the earth herself. 

June, 2006


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